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House Tour – Part 1

I have been getting plenty of requests for a house tour of our new place from family and friends so I thought I would take the opportunity over the holidays to get some pictures taken, finally!  The house is almost a 100 years old and was built in 1920.  There was an addition built in 2008 but they did a great job keeping within the aesthetic of the original farm house.  We have five acres of land, a barn which will soon house some chickens and my studio which hasn’t been winterized yet.  It was an incredible amount of work and perseverance to get this place but is was all worth it. In all of my 41 years and the many, many places I have lived, it is the first place that has truly felt like home from day one.

So, grab yourself a hot drink and come take a tour of some of our new place, before I take all of the Christmas decorations down.

Here is one side of the entrance. The other side was too messy to take a photo of, haha.

House Tour - Entrance

Which looks into our dining room. Those french doors go out to our basement and back yard.

House Tour - Dining

You can just barely see the antique arrows in with the branches that I picked up in Vermont (in Mary’s shop of course).

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The dining room is open to the living room on the right.  We have tons of big windows in the house which is great.  Although there isn’t much room for art work.

House Tour - Livingroom

Our tree which we put up and decorated while listening to Boney M. Christmas and eating Pot of Gold chocolates.  We had to, it’s a tradition. The girls also take turns putting the star on top of the tree.

House Tour - Tree

The other part of the living room which looks out onto the mountain.  One of the best views in the house and a great place to read a book.

House Tour - Livingroom2

A close-up of my wee deer.

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The one thing we don’t have in this house is a fireplace :( My only complaint.  So, we consequently have no easy place to hang stockings. Why not use the bookshelves?

House Tour - Livingroom4

Through another set of french doors is the master bedroom. The doors to the left there go out onto a little patio that is all our own.

House Tour - Master

If you go back to the entrance and hang a left, there is one of the bathrooms in the house. I thought I would show you this one since it is the original bathroom and has the most character with the wood walls and cabinetry.

House Tour - Bathroom

Next to it is our oldest girls bedroom.

House Tour - Bedroom

Then we move on to the kitchen.

House Tour - Kitchen

The kitchen is quite long and the lighting isn’t great but you can sort of see our coffee station to the left.

House Tour - Kitchen2

At the end is our little coffee drinking nook.

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I had it all set up as a hot chocolate station over the holidays.

House Tour - Kitchen4

It has been so much fun finding places for all of my vintage pieces.  Next time I will show you the younger girl’s space and a bit of the outside (if it can just warm up a bit).

Happy New Year everyone!!  Hope you have had a relaxing holiday surrounded by love!

Isabelle Arsenault Inspiration (Part Deux)

Boy this last week felt like it has lasted forever!!  I just wanted to share a couple more pages inspired by Isabelle Arsenault‘s illustrations.  This time they are from the book Virginia Wolf which is loosely based on the relationship between author Virginia Wolf and her sister, painter Vanessa Bell.  It is pretty cute.

Isabelle Arsenault

Couldn’t decide whether she was falling or lying in the grass but she inspired my blue gingham girl looking up at the sky.

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This one inspired a couple pieces…

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My fox is hanging out in the jungle.

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This little Easter bunny looking guy that was up in the corner of the page…

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Inspired me to trace this rabbit from my Enchanted Forest colouring book.

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Adult colouring books have exploded lately and I am oh so glad as colouring was one of my favourite things to do as a kid and it is a great meditative practice for all.  Such a simple thing but so gratifying.  A few more I have collected that I love:

The Art of Nature

Splendid Cities

The Big Book of Mandelas

and another Mandela one.

I can’t wait to share them with the ladies at the next retreat.  There are a few more I have my eye on:

The Hipster Coloring Book

The Secret Garden

The Tattoo Colouring Book

and the list goes on, but I won’t bore you with them.  There is a Paris one and so many different themed ones that everyone is bound to find something they like.  If I have just introduced you to them, you are welcome!!  Everyone else, please share your favourites, I have a birthday coming up, haha.

Monday Journal – Where to get inspiration?

Hi there, I frequently get asked where to get inspiration from and that is kind of hard to answer as there are so many places!!  Sometimes when ideas aren’t flowing, looking to other artists that you admire is a good place to start.

I am huge fan of Canadian illustrator Isabelle Arsenault.  I have been known to buy some of her children’s books and keep them for myself so none of the kids get their grubby hands on them, haha.  Her style is very different from mine in that she has a lot of just pencil work in her illustrations but there is just something that speaks to me with her stuff.  For a few of my 40 pages in 40 days I opened one of her books Jane, the Fox & Me.

This black and white drawing…

Where to get inspiration

Inspired this.  Since this is just for me, in my journal, it doesn’t matter how similar it is as I have no intention of selling it.

Where to get inspiration2

I loved all of the foxes that appear in this and some of her other books.

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So put one into this piece.

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Here is a close-up of the quote I used.

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Just a quick share, stay tuned for more inspiration from Isabelle’s books.

Handing over the Reins

I have had to make some pretty big decisions in the last couple of weeks.  I have decided to quit something I have worked so hard for and put my blood sweat and tears into for over a year and a half.  Anyone who is an entrepreneur knows the sacrifice you (and your family) have to make when opening and running a business.

 I am always striving to do better and be better.  It is a part of how I am wired and who I am.  I try to give everything a 100% effort but in the last little while I have realized that I have spread myself too thin between work, running the business and trying to keep the family healthy and happy.  It has made it impossible to do any of those things well and I have actually regressed instead of thriving (not to mention I feel like I am taking my family down with me, oh the guilt of motherhood, haha).  My health and family have suffered and it is time for me to refocus on what is important because without both of those things, I have nothing.  So, at the end of this month I will be handing over the reins of the boutique to a wonderful and super creative artisan, Josiane Berube.  Some of you may know her as Romeo’s Factory.  She will re-christian the store as Romeo & Stella and will hopefully open June 6th, 2015.  Some of the tried and true artisans will remain and she will also be bringing some fresh stuff in so make sure to stop by and support your community by shopping local.

This process has obviously been heartbreaking for me as opening the store has been like having another child but my landlord, who is a fellow entrepreneur, came in to see me yesterday to congratulate me on stepping away from the store.  I was a little confused and taken aback at first but he said, any good entrepreneur knows when to quit and will likely quit many times in their life before finding the exact fit.  He said I should be proud of what I had accomplished and created.  It got me to thinking about why I had started this all in the first place.  My biggest thing in opening the boutique was to create a community of like minded individuals and provide artisans with support and a platform to share their heart felt wares with people.  I am proud to say that I feel like I have accomplished that as many of my artisans and customers have become friends and made connections through the shop and now Josiane will just continue to build upon that.

grateful

Now, I can get back to the business of doing art and being grateful for what I have for a little while.  I know I will always be a busy person but I am hoping things will be more manageable as my girls need their mom and my man needs his spouse back.  I will continue to create, teach, run retreats (Beyoutiful Souls) and craft fairs (The Savoir Faire).  I am hoping to still continue to be a presence in the store by selling some of my goods and teaching.

Keep your eyes peeled as I will be having a retreat in Vermont in September and another in the Thousand Islands in the Fall.  I am also hoping to set up a studio space at home so I can do what I love near the people that I love.

Thank you to all of my loyal customers, artisans, supporters and family for helping make this dream a reality!!!

Eric Nadeau Exposition – Montcalm Gallery

Chris and I happened to be at Gatineau City Hall the other day which turned out to be surprisingly nice inside.  Lots of windows in a cathedral, six story high, inside courtyard type of thing.  If that makes any sense, haha.  While we were there we came across the Montcalm Gallery.  I had heard of it but never knew where it was and I, of course, had to go in.  We were quite pleased we did because we were introduced to the Eric Nadeau Exposition – Machine Memories and Work Stories.

“In work, in human labour, in our daily tasks, narratives are born, intersect, and are woven into the fabric of our collective memory.   The artist’s creations are variations on a single theme: the work stories that reveal and unite us.”

Here he made an automatic weapon out of an old typewriter and if you notice the typewriter on the right the keys were replaced with bullets.

Eric Nadeau Exposition

There were quite a few of these characters in the exhibit made with old Singer Sewing machines, all with their own personality.  There was quite a contrast between the sweetness of these two and some of the weapons he had created.

Eric Nadeau Exposition2

This piece was a deconstructed umbrella.  I wish I had of written down the names of all the pieces.

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More guns made from typewriters.  (Sorry about the photo quality, since it was an impromptu visit I only had my phone)

Eric Nadeau Exposition4

Made from the top of an old wooden spool.  Would love to have this piece in my home.

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These little guys were made from steel toe boots.

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She was my favourite.  Not sure if it is because it was my favourite colour or if it is because I have the identical one (still in sewing machine form) that I inherited from my grandmother.

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If you are in the area, (Hull, near the Museum of Civilization) it is definitely worth a quick stop in.  I will also be keeping my eyes peeled for their next exhibit.

Outdoor Halloween Decor

I got into the car yesterday and my youngest, Amelia said to me “Maman, do you know why everybody is decorating their houses?” and I was about to answer when daddy gave me the look like – don’t do it.  The look that tells me she will have a huge meltdown if I actually respond with the answer because she is the one who wants to tell me even though she asked in question form, haha.  I, of course responded with the required “why?”.  Which she then responded quite loudly “HALLOWEEN IS COMING!!”.

This huge burst of enthusiasm made me realize that I had been so busy decorating the store for the holiday that I had completely forgotten about the home front.  I am usually super excited about decorating and preparing for every holiday and I have now realized that in just two short weeks it will be trick or treat time and my girls have no costumes and I have no plans for decor.  What a horrible mother I am, haha.  So, tonight we begin the Halloween plans and I thought I would share my top 10 Outdoor Halloween Decor inspiration.

I had a hard time finding the original sources for the first few but I am totally loving the vintagey feel of this one.

Outdoor Halloween Decor1

This one may be a little dark for the kids but I thought it was cool (maybe when Amelia is older).

Outdoor Halloween Decor2

Using pumpkins as canvases is such a great idea.

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This is also a little creepy but brilliant.

Outdoor Halloween Decor4

I like the natural look of this one which I found here.

Outdoor Halloween Decor5

There were actually a couple I liked in this post, but this was my favourite.  Polka dots – my fav!

Outdoor Halloween Decor6

I love this little cheap and cheerful outdoor decor idea found here.

Outdoor Halloween Decor7

This cute entrance features a trapped witch that I saw here but I don’t think it is the original source.  Now to find those tights.

Outdoor Halloween Decor8

I found this idea of incorporating gourds in a whole new way on the Better Homes & Gardens website.

Outdoor Halloween Decor9

And last but not least, one from the Martha Stewart website where there is even a tutorial on making the hanging bats.

Outdoor Halloween Decor10

There is also a section with free Halloween clip-art if you are looking for some inspiration.

I shall keep you posted on our projects and give you the final unveil of our porch shortly.  Wish me luck!!!

Monday Journal – Altered Photos

 For this week’s Monday Journal I did some altered photos as I was inspired by the theme for our upcoming Etsy Craft Party on June 6th.  I pulled out my journal that I had made out of a book to a spot that already had some yellow, blue and pink paint on it from previous projects.  Instant colour scheme.  I added some stars with florescent pink, aren’t they awesome?

Altered Photos

I didn’t take any in between photos unfortunately but this is mostly how is turned out.  It says “Be You, Be Happy, Be Free”

Altered Photos2

I used one of my favourite photos of the girls and I on vacation in Quebec city for both techniques.  It took many tries to get us all off of the “jumpolene” (which is what Amelia calls it) at the same time to take that picture.

For the first technique I used paint pens and my favourite Faber Castell Pitt Pens.  Milah is flying away with her ankle wings and Ava sprouted horns.  Totally normal right?  It should be noted that all of the pens work better on photographs printed onto regular paper.

Altered Photos3

Here is the same photo but I embroidered it instead.  So many different stitches you can do with both but this technique worked best with actual photographs.  I got bear ears and Amelia some pink socks.  I then just stuck the photos in with good old washi tape.  I really enjoyed this project and will definately be doing some more.

Altered Photos4

 Hopefully you will come out to enjoy some photo fun with us on the 6th.  I am quite looking forward to it.

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Texture Hunting

 I hope everyone had a great, long, Easter weekend.  I got two days off in a row, for the first time in a while and got to get out of Dodge and visit some family.  It was great.  One of the things we always like to do when the family gets together is all go for a walk.  This time we got to tour an old family farm property that I was a little more than excited to visit.  The property has an old abandoned home and huge old barn on it.  I had my camera ready as I wanted to do some texture hunting through all of the old wood and machinery.

Here is the old house that once upon a time housed two families and has sat empty for almost 50 years.

Texture Hunting

  The little addition.

Texture Hunting2

The front door.  I sooooo wanted to go in and have a look around.  Unfortunately the owner (Uncle Jim) was sick in bed and the place is always locked up.

Texture Hunting3

Check out the detail on the hinges.  They just don’t make things like they used to.

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The entire place was put together with these handmade nails, incredible.

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Old latch on the barn (of which I forgot to take a shot of the entire thing, ugh!!).

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Look at the amazing texture and colour on this door.

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Milah inside the barn.

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More metal work.

Texture Hunting9

The girls climbed up into the loft.  Love the colour of the old roof.

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This metal piece looked older then the rest.

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The old truck in the barn.

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You can see a bit of the old stone foundation of the barn here behind Miss Millie blowing her Easter bubbles.

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Such a fun afternoon and I just had to share some of the pics with you.  Thinking it would be an amazing spot for a photo shoot, hrm…  Can’t wait to go back!!

Steve Coffin – Stirring the Brew

Hello all, I just wanted to introduce you to my new friend Steve Coffin.  I am super excited that Studio & Boutique Peaberry will be showcasing his new collection “Stirring the Brew” at the end of the month.

Steve Coffin

Stirring the Brew
Coffee Art Series – by Steve Coffin
“This series is an exploration of a new way of painting for me. It came about as an experiment to make some aged paper for an Artist friend and then it expanded into some of my most favourite canvas pieces.
The Coffee has a really rich colour and a stillness like a moment in a Café. It invites you in and allows me to explore many subjects from figurative to landscapes.
The Coffee, by nature, is a very wet and unpredictable medium. And as much as the Artist likes to think that they are in control sometimes the paintings paint themselves.
The Coffee keeps you awake, much like the caffeine when you drink it, and you just follow to see where you end up. Over time the piece develops and then the Art appears.
As an Artist this has been a lesson in letting go and flowing. The Coffee no matter hard you try does not respect your boundaries and it goes where it wants. So sit down in the Café, have a Coffee and see where it takes you….”

VERNISSAGE will be on

January 31, 2014

7pm to 9pm

112 Rue Principale, Aylmer

(Entrance on Park Street).

Come soak it all in over a glass of wine (or a coffee if you prefer :)

 Samples of Steve Art can be seen on his website at www.stevecoffin.com

Felt Bird Ornament

This week I had the pleasure of teaching an ornament workshop to a few lovely ladies.  It was nice to get a chance to sit down, create and get to know them a little better.

Felt Bird Ornament

Marie-Claude, our contest winner goofing around.

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This was Lissa’s first time doing any sort of art project and she confessed to me later that she really enjoyed herself and was able to turn everything else off which surprised her.  I absolutely loved that as I feel like art should do that for everyone and usually does :)

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The adorable Shannon took a little break from Littlest Bird Workshop and making soap to come and relax for a bit.

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Now that the workshop is done I thought I would share a little felt bird ornament tutorial with you.  The first thing is to pull out that pile of felt you have lying around (or make your own by accidentally throwing your hubbie’s ugly wool sweater in hot water to wash then into the dryer).  Cut two identical pieces into a bird shape. You should also cut out a wing, although for this one I chose not to as I wanted to add other goodies to it.  I also cut out a little heart from the felt to add as an accent.

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You can add ribbon, trim or buttons even but you need to remember to sew everything on before sewing the two pieces together.

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You also must not forget something to hang the ornament with.  I forgot to do that before putting it together last time and it was a bit of a pain to add it.

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I then used a blanket stitch to sew the little guy up but left a little gap in order to put the stuffing in.  I just used regular thread for this as it is a small piece but on bigger ones I love using embroidery floss.  I usually try to start sewing on the belly area which makes it an easier area to use a pencil to get the stuff into all the nooks and crannies

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Then finish stitching him up and hang on your tree (or give as a give) for a truly handmade Christmas ornament.  There are so many gorgeous colour combinations you could do and little accents like snowflakes.

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Hope the Christmas rush doesn’t have you stressed to the max, have a great weekend!!